This month ARTCi collaborated with the students of Brockton Preparatory School in North Vancouver as we responded to the mentor text “We are Water Protectors” written by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade. This Caldecott Award Winning and New York Times Bestseller was inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America and issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard Earth's water. Check out Carole reading her book here. See previous post “Springing Into Reading.”
Tracie Stewart met with Brockton’s Grade 2 and 3 classes to create textile art that could stand alone as a beautiful take home piece as well as come together as a strong collaborative installation.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of our work,” says Tracie. “We created beautiful textile Water Weavings as a gift of gratitude to water and in the process metaphorically wove ourselves into the creation.”
Learning about metaphor and embodiment theory, the students played at Being Water. Pretending to be water allowed them to feel how water moves, the rhythms of the tide, and who lives in the water. They talked about how, “Anything we put into water we put into ourselves. Our bodies are mostly made of water. We share the same salinity, ph and chemical make up as oceanic water. Our tears, body fluids, and the ocean are the same.”
Part of students’ process was to bring material from home and select a piece of fabric that they identified with which would represent them in the weaving. Tracie used the example: “I added some strips from a favorite pair of jeans which were ready for recycling. They held so many memories.” The weavings were created with fabrics and snow fencing. The rich blue tones represented the water and the fencing related to the oil sitting on top of the water. Simple to execute, the students were able to fall in love with textiles.
The finishing touch for the water weavings was to add text from Carole Lindstrom’s book along with words of gratitude for water. Some student examples were: water is life giving and water holds our memories.
When the pieces all came together they roared with the sound of the ocean. It was interesting to see how their individual voices and weavings were so uniquely beautiful and strong but when the pieces came together as a larger mass, the impact was tremendous.
Look for more details, photos, and videos in the coming days. All of our workshops are online and can be delivered to classrooms across the world and with any mentor text. Let ARTCi help you Spring Into Reading!